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The Seven Deadly Sins of
   Technology in Higher
 Education: Exposing Our
Crimes Against the Future

         Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins
           EC Moore Symposium
                March 2009
Technology did NOT create
     these problems

Technology merely brings
     them to light
exerting control to comfort
 oneself rather than sharing
 power
Administrators
“Kent banning athlete
 Web profiles”
Administrator:quot;We're really concerned
  about the safety of our student-athletes
  and some of the personal information
  some of them have on there.“
Columbus Dispatch
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Faculty
“Law professor bans
 laptops in class, over
 student protest”
University of Memphis
USA Today 3/21/08
Students
“How much is it worth?”
“How long does the paper have to
  be?”

“How much do really need to learn?”
“I don’t want to accidentally learn
   more than I have to.”
positioning oneself as an expert
 who cannot learn
Administrators
             After being asked about
    student/faculty pilot studies for a
                             new LMS:
“We know what they need better than
                              they do.”
             Administrator interview
                             Oct. 2008
Faculty
“I’m not paid to know how to use
Oncourse. I’m paid to be an
expert in my field.”
Instructor interview
Feb. 2009
Students
“I know I’m not going to have
to know this for the job I want so
Why should I bother?”
student interview
Feb 2009
distrusting new methods of
 acquiring knowledge
Administrators
Wikipedia is blocked on all
 computers in the Warren Hills
 Regional School District.
 Seattle Times November 21, 2007
Cathy Davidson, Duke University (2008):
the media and academia distrust Wikipedia
  because they have not yet figured out how to
  use the Internet to their advantage.
American Journalism Review




                                   Faculty
Students
“I hate working in groups. I always end up doing
   the work and profs never care that other
   people are being lazy.”
Student interview
Jan 2009
making decisions for students/faculty
 rather than allowing students to
 decide for themselves
Administrators
“Ohio University officials say [they’ve
  banned all P2P networking] because
  P2P traffic can consume so much
  bandwidth -- not because the RIAA
  sent more copyright infringement
  notices to Ohio than any other
  American university.”
Wired
April 2007
Faculty
“If they’re not disciplined enough to not
pay attention, let ‘em fail. These are
college students.
(I graduated in 2005) I found that writing
notes made for better retention, due to
the fact I could draw diagrams and such.”
Wired Campus – Chronicle Forum comment
Feb 2009
Students
“He [the professor] doesn’t
  understand how to use PowerPoint.
  Why should I care what he has to say
  about Wikipedia?”
Student interview
Oct 2008
not wondering what's new or
 embracing change, lack of
 intellectual curiosity
“The price of textbooks might be out of the
  average college student's control, but
  where you choose to spend your
  textbook dollars is not. It goes back to
  the law of supply and demand: if enough
  college students find quot;creativequot; ways to
  buy texts for less money, perhaps the
  publishers and those who make the
  buying decisions will get the message.”
Peninsula College Paper
1/31/07

Administration
“Today’s senior faculty members look
      at blogs the way a previous
      generation of academics looked at
      television — as a guilty, tawdry
      pleasure that should not be talked
      about in respectable circles.”
      Drezner 2005


Faculty
“I do enough to get by. Most of my profs don’t
   really care one way or another.”
Student interview
Dec 2008




Students
assuming that the old ways, or the
 ways that we were taught are
 somehow superior
When asked about the quality of classroom
  experience:
“Our faculty are world-class researchers.”
Administrator interview
Aug 2008


                    Administration
Faculty
“It’s not my job to make learning fun.
  Edutainment is just another ‘dumbing down’
  of higher education. If they [students] want
  entertainment they can go watch SpongeBob.”
Faculty interview
October 2008
Students
“I got really mad one time when I got a C on a
   paper in class. I always got As on papers in
   high school.”
Student interview
October 2008
inability to change, lack of
  willingness to embrace the new
Administration
“Zhejiang University, Nanjing University and
  Shanghai Jiaotong University launched a
  rule during the new term that freshmen
  are not allowed to buy computers.
  University authorities asserted that this
  could prevent freshmen from indulging
  themselves in electronic games.”
China.org
Oct 2007
Faculty
quot;The concept is interesting and
  well-formed, but in order to
  earn better than a ''C,'' the idea
  must be feasible.quot;
  --A Yale University management
  professor in response to Fred
  Smith''s paper proposing
  reliable overnight delivery
  service. (Smith went on to
  found Federal Express Corp.)
Students
“I tell my classes that if they
   just do what they are
   supposed to do and meet
   the standard requirements,
   that they will earn a C,” he
   said. “That is the default
   grade. They see the default
   grade as an A.”
Marshall Grossman
New York Times
Feb. 17, 2009
Are our approaches
    -to learning
  -to technology
     -to change
      “sinful”?
Let’s talk!
   SL: Intellagirl Tully
   Email: intellagirl@gmail.com
   Web: intellagirl.com
   Skype, Yahoo, AIM, Gchat: Intellagirl

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The Seven Deadly Sins Of Technology In Higher

  • 1. The Seven Deadly Sins of Technology in Higher Education: Exposing Our Crimes Against the Future Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins EC Moore Symposium March 2009
  • 2. Technology did NOT create these problems Technology merely brings them to light
  • 3. exerting control to comfort oneself rather than sharing power
  • 4. Administrators “Kent banning athlete Web profiles” Administrator:quot;We're really concerned about the safety of our student-athletes and some of the personal information some of them have on there.“ Columbus Dispatch Thursday, June 22, 2006
  • 5. Faculty “Law professor bans laptops in class, over student protest” University of Memphis USA Today 3/21/08
  • 6. Students “How much is it worth?” “How long does the paper have to be?” “How much do really need to learn?” “I don’t want to accidentally learn more than I have to.”
  • 7. positioning oneself as an expert who cannot learn
  • 8. Administrators After being asked about student/faculty pilot studies for a new LMS: “We know what they need better than they do.” Administrator interview Oct. 2008
  • 9. Faculty “I’m not paid to know how to use Oncourse. I’m paid to be an expert in my field.” Instructor interview Feb. 2009
  • 10. Students “I know I’m not going to have to know this for the job I want so Why should I bother?” student interview Feb 2009
  • 11. distrusting new methods of acquiring knowledge
  • 12. Administrators Wikipedia is blocked on all computers in the Warren Hills Regional School District. Seattle Times November 21, 2007
  • 13. Cathy Davidson, Duke University (2008): the media and academia distrust Wikipedia because they have not yet figured out how to use the Internet to their advantage. American Journalism Review Faculty
  • 14. Students “I hate working in groups. I always end up doing the work and profs never care that other people are being lazy.” Student interview Jan 2009
  • 15. making decisions for students/faculty rather than allowing students to decide for themselves
  • 16. Administrators “Ohio University officials say [they’ve banned all P2P networking] because P2P traffic can consume so much bandwidth -- not because the RIAA sent more copyright infringement notices to Ohio than any other American university.” Wired April 2007
  • 17. Faculty “If they’re not disciplined enough to not pay attention, let ‘em fail. These are college students. (I graduated in 2005) I found that writing notes made for better retention, due to the fact I could draw diagrams and such.” Wired Campus – Chronicle Forum comment Feb 2009
  • 18. Students “He [the professor] doesn’t understand how to use PowerPoint. Why should I care what he has to say about Wikipedia?” Student interview Oct 2008
  • 19. not wondering what's new or embracing change, lack of intellectual curiosity
  • 20. “The price of textbooks might be out of the average college student's control, but where you choose to spend your textbook dollars is not. It goes back to the law of supply and demand: if enough college students find quot;creativequot; ways to buy texts for less money, perhaps the publishers and those who make the buying decisions will get the message.” Peninsula College Paper 1/31/07 Administration
  • 21. “Today’s senior faculty members look at blogs the way a previous generation of academics looked at television — as a guilty, tawdry pleasure that should not be talked about in respectable circles.” Drezner 2005 Faculty
  • 22. “I do enough to get by. Most of my profs don’t really care one way or another.” Student interview Dec 2008 Students
  • 23. assuming that the old ways, or the ways that we were taught are somehow superior
  • 24. When asked about the quality of classroom experience: “Our faculty are world-class researchers.” Administrator interview Aug 2008 Administration
  • 25. Faculty “It’s not my job to make learning fun. Edutainment is just another ‘dumbing down’ of higher education. If they [students] want entertainment they can go watch SpongeBob.” Faculty interview October 2008
  • 26. Students “I got really mad one time when I got a C on a paper in class. I always got As on papers in high school.” Student interview October 2008
  • 27. inability to change, lack of willingness to embrace the new
  • 28. Administration “Zhejiang University, Nanjing University and Shanghai Jiaotong University launched a rule during the new term that freshmen are not allowed to buy computers. University authorities asserted that this could prevent freshmen from indulging themselves in electronic games.” China.org Oct 2007
  • 29. Faculty quot;The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ''C,'' the idea must be feasible.quot; --A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith''s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
  • 30. Students “I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.” Marshall Grossman New York Times Feb. 17, 2009
  • 31. Are our approaches -to learning -to technology -to change “sinful”?
  • 32. Let’s talk! SL: Intellagirl Tully Email: intellagirl@gmail.com Web: intellagirl.com Skype, Yahoo, AIM, Gchat: Intellagirl